Not less than 16 persons were confirmed dead and over 200 houses razed by some gunmen in four communities in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State yesterday.
The communities affected are Torok Gwon, Gwarama, and Gwarim, all in Rim district of the council area.
A source from the communities said the gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, allegedly accompanied by soldiers, stormed the communities in the early hours of yesterday and started burning their houses and shooting innocent persons.
Confirming the incident, the Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly and member representing Riyom state constituency, Hon. Daniel Dem, described it as sad.
He said 10 persons were burnt to death and many houses razed in the attack.
Dem alleged that soldiers attached to the Special Task Force (STF) in the state are also involved in the killings taking place in the communities.
He queried: “In most of the villages attacked, there are the presence of men of the STF, why are they not going after the attackers?”
An indigene of the community, who gave his name as Bot, called for the withdrawal of the task force, as they have done more harm to the people than protecting them.
He said as the raining season was approaching, “I don’t think our people can go to their farms because of fear of constant attacks by gunmen and also confirmed that most of the villagers have fled their homes for fear of another attack.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, said the attackers had fled the area before the arrival of security agents.He said the police and other personnel of the STF maintaining the peace in Plateau, had stepped in and restored normalcy to the area.
“To check against recurrence, the police and the STF have deployed a team of security personnel to the village, while efforts are being made to apprehend the attackers,’’ he added.
The commissioner advised members of the public to help security agencies with any piece of information that could lead to the arrest of the attackers.
STF Media Officer, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, who also confirmed the attack, said the invaders also burnt down houses in the village before escaping.
He however did not give the number of houses burnt.
Mustapha said the STF had arrested three persons found with arms and ammunition suspected to have been used for the attack and interrogation has commenced.